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Mere Fact That Application Would Bring Development Closer Into Compliance With Zoning Code Insufficient to Warrant Grant of Site Plan Approval and Variance, N.J. Appellate Division Affirms

Mere Fact That Application Would Bring Development Closer Into Compliance With Zoning Code Insufficient to Warrant Grant of Site Plan Approval and Variance, N.J. Appellate Division Affirms

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently affirmed denial of an application for site plan approval and variance relief despite an applicant’s contention that the application’s issues identified by the Planning Board were too minor to justify denial of the application that would bring the subject property into conformity with the zoning code. Although unpublished and nonbinding, the decision confirms New Jersey courts’ broad deference to local boards in this state, making clear that if a land use board’s legitimate concerns are not addressed by an application, the mere fact that the application would bring a property into conformity with the local zoning code is insufficient to secure a variance under New Jersey’s Municipal Land Use Law. In World Wheat Foundation, Inc. v. Planning Board of the Township of Saddle River, et al., a church-based, not-for-profit organization, sought site plan approval and variance relief to convert a property that previously served as a residential facility for the elderly into a vocational school to assist Korean families with language and the arts. The previous facility ceased operations more than two years prior to the application. The property was situated in the Township’s Secondary Business Zone, in which the former residential facility was...

Do You Like What You’re Reading? Rate Our Blog: The ABA Journal’s “Web 100” Award

Do You Like What You’re Reading? Rate Our Blog: The ABA Journal’s “Web 100” Award

Thank you for visiting the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Law Alert blog! Content on our site, authored by members of the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, integrates topics in transactional real estate, development, and environmental law that are critical to the success of property acquisitions and dispositions, real estate financings, lease transactions, major development projects, and remediation and redevelopment of brownfield sites. How are we doing? To review our blog and nominate the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Law Alert for this year’s ABA Journal’s “Web 100” award, please visit abajournal.com/blawgs/web100 and share why you are a “fan” of our site (Please note: the voting process closes on Sunday, July 30). Thank you in advance for your support.

Turning Back the Clock: NJ Appellate Division Holds That ISRA De Minimis Quantity Exemption Still Available Following Withdrawal of NFA

Turning Back the Clock: NJ Appellate Division Holds That ISRA De Minimis Quantity Exemption Still Available Following Withdrawal of NFA

The New Jersey Appellate Division recently announced several interesting holdings regarding the New Jersey Industrial Site Recovery Act (“ISRA”), N.J.S.A. 13:1K-6, et seq. In R&K Associates, LLC v. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Docket No. A-4177-14T1, the Court held that a former owner of an industrial site may apply for an exemption from the ISRA process even when the former owner has not owned the site for many years and elected to not pursue the exemption in the past. The case concerned the final decision of the Department of Environmental Protection (“DEP”) denying a De Minimis Quantity Exemption (“DQE”) under ISRA to the former owner of the subject industrial site. ISRA is the New Jersey law which generally requires owners of industrial sites to remediate on-site environmental contamination or expressly assume responsibility for remediation prior to transferring an ownership of the site. A DQE under ISRA allows an owner of an industrial site to avoid the requirements of ISRA where only trivial amounts of hazardous substances were used on-site. The case has an extensive procedural history with three appeals and numerous DEP actions, beginning with DEP’s withdrawal of a 1997 No Further Action (“NFA”) letter to the former owner. When...

Gibbons Part of Team Nominated by NAIOP for Mixed-Use Deal of the Year

Gibbons Part of Team Nominated by NAIOP for Mixed-Use Deal of the Year

NAIOP New Jersey, the commercial real estate development association, has announced the finalists for its Deal of the Year Awards. Gibbons P.C. was part of the team nominated for Mixed-Use Deal of the Year for the project involving the disposition of the Hoffmann-La Roche US headquarters in Nutley and Clifton, New Jersey. Winners in the categories of Industrial Deal of the Year, Office Deal of the Year, and Mixed-Use Deal of the Year will be announced at the 30th Annual Commercial Real Estate Awards Gala on May 11, 2017. Gibbons was part of the team that led the successful sale of the former 116-acre headquarters and research and development campus of Hoffmann-La Roche, which spans the municipalities of Nutley and Clifton, to Prism Capital Partners and a Boston-based investment manager. As part of the transaction, a joint venture between Hackensack University Medical Center and Seton Hall University will lease two of the campus buildings and 16 acres of the property for the new Seton Hall–Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine, the first new private medical school in New Jersey in over 40 years. The new site will also house Seton Hall’s College of Nursing and its School of Health and Medical...

David Freeman to Speak at New York City Brownfield Partnership Seminar

David Freeman to Speak at New York City Brownfield Partnership Seminar

David J. Freeman, a Director in the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department and Co-Chair of the Brownfields Task Force of the Environmental Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, will speak at an upcoming seminar on “New York State’s Brownfield Cleanup Program: What to Look for in 2017.” The seminar is sponsored by the New York City Brownfield Partnership and will take place on February 7 from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. Mr. Freeman and other panel members will review the major changes to the Program made by the 2015 amendments to the state’s Brownfield Cleanup Act, including the new definition of “brownfield site”; new deadlines for admission to the Program and for issuance of Certificates of Completion; new rules and DEC procedures with respect to costs that qualify for site preparation tax credits; and restrictions on tangible property credits for properties in New York City, including DEC’s new definition of an “underutilized” site.

Russell Bershad Named to the NJBIZ Real Estate Power List 0

Russell Bershad Named to the NJBIZ Real Estate Power List

Russell B. Bershad, Co-Chair of the Gibbons Real Property & Environmental Department, has been named to the NJBIZ Real Estate Power 75, a list of the most powerful people in New Jersey real estate. Mr. Bershad appeared for the first time this year, ranking 55th on the list. NJBIZ notes, “Russ Bershad is a newcomer to the list. But, according to one fan, he’s been in the mix for quite some time. ‘He was involved in the Roche deal, he represents David Barry in Jersey City. He’s doing a lot of good things there.’ Said another: ‘You know every detail is going to be pored over when you hire Russ.’ Said another: ‘If you’re going to add more lawyers to the list, and that’s a good idea, Russ is one of the people you need to have.’”

Recent New Jersey Case Serves as Warning to Redevelopers of Contaminated Sites 0

Recent New Jersey Case Serves as Warning to Redevelopers of Contaminated Sites

A recent New Jersey Appellate Division case concerning spoliation of evidence in the context of a contribution action under the New Jersey Spill Compensation and Control Act (“Spill Act”) counsels caution on the part of redevelopers of contaminated sites. The case makes clear that owners of contaminated sites must endeavor to preserve physical evidence related to the contamination as soon as litigation becomes “probable” if they hope to rely on that evidence in a future contribution action.

FEMA Amendments to Base Floor Elevation Requirements, When Minor, Do Not Necessarily Give Rise to Hardship Showing for Height Variance Says NJ App Div 0

FEMA Amendments to Base Floor Elevation Requirements, When Minor, Do Not Necessarily Give Rise to Hardship Showing for Height Variance Says NJ App Div

In its recent decision in Richmond URF, LLC v. Zoning Board of Adjustment of the City of Jersey City, the Appellate Division held that a minor alteration in base floor elevation requirements in the wake of FEMA’s amendments to the regulations after SuperStorm Sandy does not necessarily give rise to showing a hardship in support of a height variance under N.J.S.A. 40:55D-70(d)(6).

SNDAs: Often Encountered, Rarely Discussed 0

SNDAs: Often Encountered, Rarely Discussed

Subordination, non-disturbance and attornment agreements (SNDAs) are often encountered by transactional real estate lawyers, but infrequently discussed. An SNDA is an agreement among a tenant, the landlord’s mortgage lender and, usually, the landlord. An SNDA provides that a tenant’s lease will be subordinated to a mortgage on the landlord’s property, and the mortgage lender will agree that if the mortgage goes into default and the lender forecloses its mortgage, the lease will continue (i.e., it will not be disturbed).

Construction Underway on Jersey City Luxury Tower at 90 Columbus 0

Construction Underway on Jersey City Luxury Tower at 90 Columbus

Construction is underway on 90 Columbus, the final tower of Ironstate Development and Panepinto Properties Inc.’s multi-phase Columbus Drive development project in Jersey City, New Jersey. The project is designed to embrace modern urbanism and connect the city’s financial district and waterfront with the vibrant Grove Street historic area. The 50-story, 539-unit, luxury apartment tower at 90 Columbus is the fourth tower in the iconic development, following the already-completed residential buildings at 50 and 70 Columbus, the over 900-space parking garage, and the 152-room Marriott Residence Inn at 80 Columbus, which is currently under construction and expected to open this winter. Ground broke on 90 Columbus earlier in 2016, and completion is expected in October 2018.